ZEPHYRHILLS — The Zephyrhills Cinema 10 movie theater became a movie set last week as a film crew shot scenes for the upcoming thriller “120/80.”
A scene shot at the movie theater Tuesday involved one of several murders in the film’s plot, which revolves around a man who has decided to take an extreme path to eliminating stress.
Actor Bill Oberst Jr., who plays the movie’s lead role, portrays Bill Johnson, a man in his late 40s who has had a heart attack and begins to identify and eliminate people who bring stress into his life. Actor Armand Assante, who plays a detective who pursues Johnson, was not on location Tuesday.
Tampa attorney Tom Parnell is the co-writer of the screenplay along with film director Mark Savage. Parnell, whose law practice was once in Dade City and who lived in Zephyrhills for a few years, is also the executive producer.
Parnell, who lives in Tampa, chose Zephyrhills as one of the locations for shooting the film. Savage said Parnell recalled the Zephyrhills movie theater when they were discussing possible film locations.
“I wanted something that wasn’t quite a chain theater,” Savage said. “I wanted one that was more like an independent-looking theater. I also wanted something with a more sort of old-fashioned quality rather than a sort of corporate-y kind of quality and this really fit the bill.”
Cinema 10 owner Larry Rutan was busy making sure the film crew had what they needed to complete the job.
“Tom sent me an email telling me they have a movie they were going to be shooting and they were looking for locations,” Rutan said. “So they scouted out several different locations and they liked mine the best. I just told him we’d do the best we can to make sure everything runs smoothly.”
“Let me just add,” Parnell said. “In scouting all these locations around the area, nobody was as accommodating as Larry — as helpful, as enthusiastic and as willing to be involved in this project.”
The scene at the theater involves a man who stresses out Johnson by using his cellphone and talking loudly. Johnson kills him with a blow dart.
Parnell wanted to dispel any connection with the Wesley Chapel movie theater shooting earlier this year. Curtis Reeves Jr. is facing a second-degree murder charge in the January shooting death of Chad Oulson. Reeves shot Oulson after the men got into an argument over Oulson’s texting during movie previews.
“Let’s make it clear that I wrote that scene before last fall,” Parnell said.
Savage added: “It’s more of a darting than a shooting.”
Savage said he expects the film will be released in summer 2015. Rutan hopes to show it at the Zephyrhills Cinema 10. Moviegoers can watch the theater’s Facebook page for an announcement, he said.